Snow In Arcata

or :

“How To Tell A Whopper For Five Hundred Dollars A Day” by Melanie Trumpenhausen
The population of the tiny city of Arcata was experiencing a warming spell and blossoms were appearing on most of the trees. However, on the night of February 28 the snow was piling up deep in the Finance Committee meeting room.
The Treasurer, Kloor, opened the meeting without President Fiske in attendance. Here’s what went down:
Kloor: “At the November meeting we had an “out of cash” date on December 7. We’ve made it this far without running out of cash…we’ve come a long way and we’ve learned a lot…”
[Coop Members: The fact is this: at that November meeting Trumpenhausen glibly announced a plan to borrow $500,000.00 against our building for operating capital to “make it” but Member #117 vociferously objected and Fiske later canceled his membership. ]
Kloor: “My intention is to release the (new) auditor’s report letter to management and membership…”
Barney (the new bookeeper): “Transparency is good, but people could misunderstand the letter, taking things the wrong way, and think things are worse than they really are. Due to turnover {edit: i.e., employees and staff quitting in disgust} and lack of financial oversight there are still issues to address…”
[Coop Members: This new guy, picked and hired by Trumpenhausen, is recommending NOT to let the owners see the real audit of our business which proved Bettenhausen has spent a total of over $894,000 on “construction in progress”, most of which didn’t even reach the permit stage, and has only yielded a 14 foot used hot food table installed in a building in Eureka – which our company does not own- . Hear the whine of the snow machine winding up? Melanie had tactically set the Coop bookeeper, Barney, up for the first volley.]
Barney reported further: “..the first positive quarterly statement in over a year”. Before everyone could form a smile of relief, Diane Sharples, a nice old retired tax form helper on this committee, noticed that the sales didn’t reflect this.

“Where is this income coming from?” she peeped up.
Whoops… Barney was caught. He had to admit that it resulted from “coupon rebates” of $8,000.
[Coop members: “The first positive quarter in over a year” was produced from clipped coupons – sorta like when mom sees all her clipped coupons in the bottom of her purse and decides to use them. This acknowledgement put a hole in the shiny balloon, but at least Barney took the first bullet and not Trumpenhausen..]
Suddenly President Fiske runs in from the parking lot forty five minutes late…
“How about the credit from the vendors?”, asks the CEO, Mr. Fiske..”Is that happening?”
Melanie took this one…” We are at the extent of their terms… I don’t think we’d get far trying to negotiate for 45 days..”
[Fellow Coop Members this is “BOOM !” The kids in the wheelhouse have extended the vendor terms to the limit – and it can’t be extended further -. The investigator associated with this website has talked to the vendors and this is their “off the record” indication: They expect the Eureka store to fold. ]
Feeling the noose of overdrafts tightening around his neck, Fiske gets quiet for several minutes.
Sharples, who, like most tax accountants only thinks about reconciling the numbers, digs in deeper..:“September is not matching November. Investments are down $37K”
Trumpenhausen: “That is something the auditors did. It’s shares we have in another cooperative bank (?) that are not cashable. The auditors moved it…”
[Coop members: This is the same amount and refers to investments that Trumpenhausen announced in the Times Standard article written by Philip Santos in November 2019 as “new investors contributing tens of thousands of dollars helping”. This was clearly a public statement published in the newspaper which is misleading, and now visible to be almost certainly fraudulent. It was backed up, in that article, by Colin Fiske, President, the guy who openly laughed in a board meeting at a member who used the terms “violation of fiduciary responsibility” and later revoked his new membership ]
Sharples: “Retained earnings went down equal to payroll expenses that were moved to the prior year… It would have gone up..”
Melanie looks at Barney. He tries to explain….”It was moved to the 2018 budget….Going forward it changed expenses to income”.
Sharples: “…..its a little muddy because of the adjustments..”
[Coop Members: This is known as “COOKIN THE BOOKS” plain and simple. Thank your stars at least one qualified unpaid person present acknowledges this – even though Sharples doesn’t understand the implications… ]
Fiske – feeling the rope of bankruptcy closing even tigther – now has his brain firing on all cylinders: “Will selling the {old} equipment help cash?”
Barney: “Not substantially….we still haven’t sold the truck…”
Fiske: “How is the C-Share repurchase list changed at all?”
Barney: “its at $300,000 plus”
Trumpenhausen: “Laurie is developing a C-Share repayment plan……We have a year to repurchase those shares..”
[Coop Members: This means the clock is ticking. Within months this Coop has to make historically impossible profits to meet the agreements in clearly published requirements of both the California Secretary of State and Department of Justice – which are necessary to be an operating cooperative business. All C-Share owners awake yet? ]
Sharples: “Has Melanie talked to the Employees Union about reducing wages? ..”
Trumpenhausen: “To do something like that I have to produce three years of financial statements and we haven’t had those..”
[Coop Members: THIS person, who receives $110,000 dollars a year, or roughly $500 bucks a day has not produced a financial statement in THREE FREAKING YEARS ! ]
Faye Honorof, a member who is awake and paying attention: “Has the Administration Department taken a cut ? Would it help to cut Administration by 2%.”
[Melanie cranks the snow machine to “full blast” and lets it rip…]
Trumpenhausen: “Administration is much smaller so I don’t know that further cuts would have a big impact on cash…”
[Coop Members: Are they paying the staff with rotten vegetables? Administration costs, meaning maintaining all those nice people in the upstairs lounge/office areas with palm trees and television on the walls,(that no other local grocery store has ever had), is $1,345,536 a year. Can you feel the snow piling around your ankles?]

Kloor, in one final stab at getting a shred of sense out of it all, asks: “I’d like if we could define what one day of cash is. I’d like to have a sense of that number..”

Trumpenhausen: “…daily operating expenses changes quarterly. ”

[Coop Members: After more than three years of being the General Manager, Melanie doesn’t even know what the stores make, ballpark...So that’s the Trumpenhausen Snow Report. Deep. ]
In all seriousness it’s not good folks. Members should understand that the material published on this site is not fiction, or those responsible would have a lawsuit in their laps already.

Moving Forward: The Prognosis

Subsequently, the Financial Board met on March 28, 2019, and revealed the audit. Its a map of financial misdeeds – and it’s becoming obvious that some of the folks sitting in the board positions have been checking the facts and allegations of this site, and probably consulting a legal person. Now several Board Directors are no longer attending because they have finally understood that their voices of concern and wisdom are consistently disregarded and mocked. Some have quit. They were there when Fiske and Kloor stripped the membership of one informed and very outspoken member. The corporate damage which occurred by allowing material evidence to be “cooked” – and followed by their published public misleading statements – has put these well meaning people in the crosshairs of legal claims.

Far from building their personal resumes they hoped – Fiske and Kloor are personally liable for these losses. When a gross negligence case is almost inevitably launched – the “President” and “Treasurer” (LOL) will be listed first as defendants. It’s an easy case to win, which Fiske&Kloor don’t grok yet. This may be why other board members are in non attendance or already resigned. Bettenhausen is off the hook. As GM she is only an employee who used colossal bad business judgement. She’ll simply lose her job.

How can this be true?
Actually, the auditor, Wegner CPAs LLP, who finally sorted through all this manure and produced the necessary audit three years after stated it quite clearly on Februrary 22, 2019 when the audit was finally delivered:

Well, pour yourself a glass of wine, keep your snowboots on and listen closely.. Between the snowflakes falling you can hear it in the distance. ..They are hammering the scaffold up now…

2 thoughts on “Snow In Arcata

  1. Well, as one who works in the nice, upstairs section (no effing palm trees, just an overgrown ficus, and an old pothos), I have seen a 20% reduction in my schedule which translates to a 20% reduction in my take home.
    You’re providing a valuable service with these updates; don’t negate things with semi-accurate hyperbole (we get enough of that from the effing board already).


  2. “A ficus and an old potus. No effing palms.”

    Now there’s some good intel. BTW I agree 100% that this blog is not 100% accurate because Bettenhausen and Fiske {Trumpenhausen & Risk} keep changing the story – generating inaccurate and sometimes, yes, cockedup up information. We both know this. I am sorry that you, whomever you are, have to live with such uncertainty and second floor politics.
    I am deeply honored that you have come forward with real information. Please feel free to correct, and help make this site more accurate. I respect your position and am certain that your intentions are the same as those on this site who are working to keep members openly, honestly and, freaking COMPLETELY informed. Finally, Thank you for the foliage report. Please forgive me that I got snarky on the plants. They are innocent and sensitive. Offer them my condolences, and water… {Editor}


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